Trump rallies Iowa supporters

Published 9:47 am Monday, January 11, 2016

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to those in attendance at a rally Saturday at Surf Ballroom and Museum in Clear Lake. The Iowa primary elections are Feb. 1. - Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to those in attendance at a rally Saturday at Surf Ballroom and Museum in Clear Lake. The Iowa primary elections are Feb. 1. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

CLEAR LAKE — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was optimistic about his chances of capturing next month’s Iowa primary Saturday afternoon at a campaign rally in Clear Lake.

“It’s exciting, it’s really exciting to see what is happening,” Trump said to an estimated crowd of more than 1,500 people at the Surf Ballroom. The front of the ballroom was lined with standing supporters.

Trump, 69, has drawn support and controversy as his poll numbers have climbed to the top of the Republican race for the presidential nomination.

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Trump spoke in grand terms of what he would do if elected.

“We need strength in the military and I am going to build it bigger, stronger and better than before,” he said.

Trump spoke of his displeasure with the current political administration and pledged to treat veterans well.

“Our country is in trouble, very serious trouble,” he said. “We have illegal immigrants treated better in many cases than our vets.”

Trump bragged about his poll position and top standing in the Republican primary across the country, especially in the state of Florida, the home state of fellow candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.

He said Bush’s poll numbers weren’t indicative of the amount of money he has spent, and criticized his view on immigration and Common Core education standards.

“You can’t buy elections anymore, people are too smart,” Trump said.

He claimed Democrats would raise the issue of Ted Cruz’s birthplace if he receives the Republican nomination and expressed doubt of Cruz’s qualification to be president.

Trump said he will consider his campaign a waste of time if he doesn’t win because politicians won’t follow through with protecting the borders. His comment elicited applause from the audience.

“We have to go all of the way,” he said.

Trump said his campaign is a movement.

“We are angry at stupid people, we are angry at people who don’t know what they’re doing,” he said.

Trump elicited applause from the audience throughout his hour-long speech, including when he claimed the Second Amendment has to be saved.

He claimed the mass tragedies in Paris and San Bernardino, California, wouldn’t have caused as many deaths if the victims were armed.

He claimed the Affordable Care Act is a disaster.

“It’s going to collapse in 2017,” Trump said. “We’re going to terminate it and we’re going to replace it with something much, much better.”

Trump framed his campaign as being against the political establishment.

“We need to get away from these stupid politicians who don’t know what they are doing,” he said.

Trump used the term radical Islamic terrorism and claimed President Barack Obama needs to defeat ISIS.

“If you don’t say the problem, if you don’t know what the problem is, you’ll never solve the problem,” he said.

He also briefly touched on former President Bill Clinton, and claimed if he had been able to eliminate Osama Bin Laden during his presidency, then the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks wouldn’t have happened.

He said he will be able to beat Hillary Clinton in a presidential race matchup and claimed she doesn’t want to face him because she doesn’t want Trump to tell the truth about her and her husband.

In the last week, Trump has hit hard against Hillary Clinton’s attacks of sexism against him by claiming that Bill Clinton mistreated women in his position of power.

In a Real Clear Politics poll today Trump is in second place in the Iowa Republican presidential caucus with 27.4 percent, trailing Ted Cruz with 30.2 percent.

The Iowa primary will be Feb. 1.

Trump campaigned in Ottumwa, Iowa, earlier in the day.

Mason City resident Leann Rasmusson said she came to see Trump to gain a better idea about him than what she can gather on television.

“I think he’s no fool; I think he’s a smart man,” Rasmusson said. “It’s too bad everyone else doesn’t understand that and listen to see what’s going on around the country.”

Rasmusson said she appreciates his approach.

“I like him because he calls it the way he sees it,” she said. “He calls it the way it is.”

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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